Paula Schneider on Running American Apparel along with Fighting Cancer
Why did you take the job?
the idea was in my wheelhouse. the idea was manufacturing. the idea was huge, massive, challenging. yet the idea was also a little bit mission-driven. There were 9,000 people working for the organization, mostly in cutting, sewing, pattern generating, all of the things that will are lost arts. If that will company were to cease to exist, all of those people would certainly not have additional places to go to.
What surprised you when you arrived at American Apparel?
Everything surprised me. I had never seen anything like the idea. I had a warehouse of mannequins that will were in all kinds of sexual positions. We couldn’t use them within the stores, yet there had to be a million dollars that will was spent on those mannequins.
What had gone wrong at that will company?
Well, the organization had lost $400 million within the 5 years prior to me getting there, so the idea wasn’t healthy by any stretch. I don’t think even the board understood how close to the edge the idea was. I got there along with did my first 13-week cash flow analysis along with saw we were going to hit the skids. that will’s when I began to furlough employees. They felt like I was taking money out of their pocket, when what I was actually trying to do was save the whole organization.
I understand things got heated.
the idea was the right business decision, yet when you’ve got a work force that will is usually barely generating the idea, the idea’s hard. Think of cutters along with sewers working for minimum wage. If you’re giving them one less day a week to work, the idea’s actually hard for them to support their families. I get that will.
Then there was a group that will filed for a union bid. along with they’re out there every day saying, “Paula Schneider’s going to move manufacturing to a different country. Paula Schneider’s a liar. Paula Schneider did This particular.” I had bodyguards during that will time. My daughter had bodyguards at college. There were threats made. the idea was a pretty intense period.
How had Dov’s behavior affected the company culture?
I can’t actually talk to what Dov did or didn’t do. I think there’s enough articles that will were written about that will over time. There were certainly a lot of challenges at American Apparel. If the #MeToo movement had been going on then, my guess is usually that will there would certainly have been a lot harsher outcomes at the time. I’m sure there’s going to be a great movie about the idea someday, because “The Wolf of Wall Street” ain’t got nothing on This particular.
Why did you accept the role at Komen?
the idea’s a personal journey to make a difference here along with have a different kind of legacy, because This particular [expletive]’s got to stop. My mom died of metastatic breast cancer. I had the idea. My sisters had melanoma. My brother died of metastatic prostate cancer. I have two daughters.